Feynman parametrization

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Feynman parametrization is a technique for evaluating loop integrals which arise from Feynman diagrams with one or more loops. However, it is sometimes useful in integration in areas of pure mathematics as well.


Richard Feynman observed that:

which is valid for any complex numbers A and B as long as 0 is not contained in the line segment connecting A and B. The formula helps to evaluate integrals like:

If A(p) and B(p) are linear functions of p, then the last integral can be evaluated using substitution.

More generally, using the Dirac delta function :[1]

This formula is valid for any complex numbers A1,...,An as long as 0 is not contained in their convex hull.

Even more generally, provided that for all :

where the Gamma function was used.[2]


Now just linearly transform the integral using the substitution,

which leads to so

and we get the desired result:

In more general cases, derivations can be done very efficiently using the Schwinger parametrization. For example, in order to derive the Feynman parametrized form of , we first reexpress all the factors in the denominator in their Schwinger parametrized form:

and rewrite,

Then we perform the following change of integration variables,

to obtain,

where denotes integration over the region with .

The next step is to perform the integration.

where we have defined

Substituting this result, we get to the penultimate form,

and, after introducing an extra integral, we arrive at the final form of the Feynman parametrization, namely,

Similarly, in order to derive the Feynman parametrization form of the most general case, : one could begin with the suitable different Schwinger parametrization form of factors in the denominator, namely,

and then proceed exactly along the lines of previous case.

Alternative Form[edit]

An alternative form of the parametrization that is sometimes useful is

This form can be derived using the change of variables . We can use the product rule to show that , then

More generally we have

where is the gamma function.

This form can be useful when combining a linear denominator with a quadratic denominator , such as in heavy quark effective theory (HQET).

Symmetric Form[edit]

A symmetric form of the parametrization is occasionally used, where the integral is instead performed on the interval , leading to:


  1. ^ Weinberg, Steven (2008). The Quantum Theory of Fields, Volume I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 497. ISBN 978-0-521-67053-1.
  2. ^ Kristjan Kannike. "Notes on Feynman Parametrization and the Dirac Delta Function" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-29. Retrieved 2011-07-24.